Friday, October 24, 2014

Fobbs' mentality serves Grambling's culture well

GRAMBLING, Louisiana -- If a student were to take a class at Grambling State University, the last person they'd want marking up their papers is head football coach Broderick Fobbs.

The first-year coach is a stingy grader, to say the least, which is further proof that he expects top-notch quality from his players in order to place a successful product on the field.

After Grambling's first spring game under Fobbs, he gave his team a C+ grade. Then after a 28-21 win over Alcorn State, the Tigers' biggest since 2011 when they won the SWAC title over Alabama A&M, Fobbs nonchalantly gave out a B- grade.

The former Carroll High School product took it even a step further this past weekend after a 63-39 beatdown of Arkansas-Pine Bluff resulted in a 'B-/C+'


Southern football vs. Jackson State game capsule

What: Southern (4-3, 3-1 SWAC) vs. Jackson St. (3-4, 1-3 SWAC)
When/Where: Saturday at 6 p.m. at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium in Jackson, Mississippi.
Television: CST
Radio: WYNK 97.7

Coaches: Southern- Dawson Odums, (2nd season as head coach, interim in 2012, 16-13). Jackson St.- Harold Jackson, (1st season as head coach, 3-4).

Southern: The Jaguars had their first bye week of the season last Saturday, getting a break after an exceptional start to SWAC play.


Magic City Classic 2014: 5 Storylines of the game

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama - For Alabama State (4-3), the SWAC preseason favorite, the season hasn't exactly gone according to script with losses in its last two games.

For Alabama A&M (2-5), under first-year coach James Spady and his entertaining pistol offense, there has been noticeable improvement but not a lot to show for it. And a winning season seems to be out of the question unless it can turn around its season starting Saturday.

While the season has been a letdown, the winner of the 73rd annual Magic City Classic at Legion Field almost gets a get-out-of-jail card with its fan base. Let's look at the top storylines entering the weekend:


Week 9: HBCU Football Schedule


SATURDAY, October 25, 2014

Florida A&M at North Carolina A&T, 1 PM, Homecoming
Bethune-Cookman at South Carolina State, 1:30 PM
Savannah State at North Carolina Central, 2 PM
Hampton at Delaware State, 2 PM
Morgan State at Villanova, 3:30 PM

Alcorn State at Prairie View A&M, 2 PM
Arkansas Pine Bluff at Texas Southern, 3 PM
Alabama State vs. Alabama A&M, 3:30  73rd Magic City Classic, Birmingham, AL, TV: ESPN3
Southern at Jackson State, 7 PM

Tennessee State at Eastern Illinois, 2:30 PM, TV: ESPN3

Johnson C. Smith at Shaw, 1 PM, Homecoming
Bowie State at Virginia Union, 1 PM
Chowan at Elizabeth City State, 1:30 PM, Homecoming
Livingstone at Winston-Salem State, 1:30 PM
Fayetteville State at Saint Augustine's, 2 PM, Homecoming
Lincoln (Pa.) at Virginia State, 2 PM, Homecoming

Kentucky State at Tuskegee, 1 PM
Stillman at Central State, 1:30 PM
Paine at Fort Valley State, 2 PM
Miles at Lane, 2 PM
Clark Atlanta at Albany State, 2 PM
Morehouse at Benedict, 2 PM

Cheyney at Shippensburg, 12 Noon
Wesley College at Virginia University Lynchburg, 1 PM Homecoming
Concordia-Selma at Warner, 1 PM
Virginia -Wise at West Virginia State, 2 PM
Apprentice School at Edward Waters, 3 PM
Southwest Assemblies of God at Langston, 3 PM
Lincoln (Mo.) at Indianapolis, 6 PM



Jackson wins 6th GCAC Runner of Week award of 2014

Xavier University of Louisiana's Kwame Jackson, center, with Gulf Coast Athletic
Conference Commissioner  Steve Martin, left, and GCAC President Kiki Barnes,
the athletics director at Dillard University.
NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana's Kwame Jackson, who won his third Gulf Coast Athletic Conference men's cross country individual championship on Saturday, was named Runner of the Week for Oct. 13-19.

Jackson, a senior from Kingwood, Texas, and a graduate of Kingwood Park High School, became the first GCAC harrier to win three individual titles. He repeated as league champion, running 8,000 meters at City Park in 29 minutes, 3.16 seconds and winning by nearly 42 seconds. He led the Gold Rush to a ninth consecutive GCAC men's team championship.

Jackson set a GCAC record with his sixth weekly award of the season and extended his career record to 15.

The XU men and women will conclude the season Nov. 22 in the NAIA National Championship at Lawrence, Kansas.

Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director

TSU to Travel to EIU for an OVC Matchup


NASHVILLE, Tennessee -- On Saturday, the Tennessee State football team will travel to Eastern Illinois for an Ohio Valley Conference matchup. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.

Scouting TSU
The Tigers (4-4, 1-3 OVC) are coming off of a, 21-16, loss at home to UT Main, the most current entry in their three-game losing streak. It is currently the longest slide for the team since a four-game stretch in 2011.

Scouting EIU
The Panthers (2-5, 2-1 OVC) just crushed Southeast Missouri, 52-13, for their second win of the season. The Eastern Illinois defense forced five turnovers in the victory, including four interceptions.

Three Keys to the Game

Win the Turnover Battle
Over the last three games, the TSU offense has given the ball away nine times while the defense has just four takeaways (all against Jacksonville State). Both stats have contributed to the rough patch as the Tigers are 11-1 in the last two seasons when they come out positive in turnover margin. When they have the same or less takeaways than its opponents, Big Blue is just 3-7. It may seem simple, but TSU needs to take better care of the ball against the Panthers to give itself a shot at more scoring drives.

Contain Whitlow
EIU’s junior quarterback Jalen Whitlow has been the most productive quarterback in the OVC this season, averaging 258.7 yards per game. TSU fans will remember last year’s EIU QB Jimmy Garoppolo who also led the OVC in total yards. The Panthers’ current signal-caller is more mobile than his predecessor and is second in the league in rushing yards per contest (79.7). The Univ. of Kentucky transfer’s eight scores on the ground are also tops in the conference. TSU leads the nation in passing defense (129.8 y/g), but the unit must also focus on Whitlow’s running ability if the Tigers are to stop their slide.

Maintain Status Quo on Defense
In addition to being the best in pass defense, the Tigers’ D is also third in total defense (251.3 y/g) and eighth in scoring (16.3 p/g). Even in a losing effort last week, Big Blue held the Skyhawks to just 210 yards – 67 through the air. TSU has been dominant on defense the past three seasons, but EIU has gained 567 and 553 yards in the two meetings during that span. The Tigers need to have a short memory and play like they are accustomed to shut down the high-flying Panther attack this time around.

EIU holds a 10-7 edge in the series and won twice last season, the latter of which ended TSU’s season in the FCS Playoffs.

Saturday marks EIU’s homecoming and fans can catch all the action on ESPN3 at 1:30 p.m.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Expectations change for Livingstone; Blue Bears eye second CIAA championship

SALISBURY, North Carolina -- Livingstone basketball coach James Stinson is philosophical about expectations.

Earning the school’s first CIAA championship, like his Blue Bears did last season, brings presumptions just like being the league’s worst team. In 11 seasons at Livingstone, he’s been in both situations.

“When we were on the bottom we had a target on our back because no one wanted to lose to us,” Stinson said. “It’s the same thing so we just prepare every day. It does get tougher because people are bringing their ‘A’ game and then the CIAA from top to bottom is going to be tough each night.”

League coaches expect Livingstone to be the CIAA’s best, voting the Blue Bears No. 1 in preseason polling. Making it happen, though, will be more difficult after losing the heart of last year’s 21-9 squad. Seven players return, including four who started games last year, with 6-4 forward Eric Mayo leading the incumbents with 19. The returnees combined for 22.2 points per game, but their experience gives the Blue Bears a starting point to compete in the CIAA South.